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Just In: Court Fines FG N200, 000 For Seeking Firvolous Adjournment Over Sowore’s Trial

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The Federal High Court in Abuja on Wednesday, February 12, fined the Federal Government the sum of N200,000 for causing an adjournment of the trial of Sahara Reporters publisher, Omoyele Sowore, on frivolous grounds.

Justice Ijeoma Ojukwu who described the prosecution’s request for the adjournment as frivolous and uncalled for, postponed the trial till Thursday.

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Punch reports that she warned that the proceedings would not continue if the prosecution fails to present evidence of the payment of the N200,000 to the defence or come to court with the cash on Thursday.

READ ALSO: Anxiety Over Missing Travellers In Ondo Community

She condemned the late filing of amended charges and service of same on defence in the open court on Wednesday.

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The judge also expressed dissatisfaction with the prosecution’s failure to serve all necessary documents as ordered by the court over seven weeks ago.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr. Kayode Alilu, from the office of the Attorney-General of the Federation, had explained to the court that the amendment of the charges followed the taking over of the case from the Department of State Service in December.

READ ALSO: Edo 2020: Obaseki Second Term Is Non-negotiable-Group

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He asked for an adjournment to effect the service on the defence.

Defence lawyer, Mr. Olayinka Olumide-Fusika (SAN), contended that the prosecution were not prepared for trial and urged the court to strike out the charges.

He said the prosecution’s request for an adjournment was frivolous and an indication of their lack of diligence in the prosecution of the case.

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But Alilu opposed the application for the striking out of the charges.

READ ALSO: Use FoI Act To Hold Govt Accountable, Nigerians Urged

He cited Section 396 (5) of Administration of Criminal Justice Act 2011 which he said grants parties in a criminal case to ask for an adjournment up to five times in the course of the trial, adding that the prosecution had yet to exhaust the five times.

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(PUNCH)

PHOTO: File

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100 Civil Servants Die In Jigawa Within One Month

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The Jigawa State and Local Governments Contributory Pension Scheme said 100 civil servants died within one month.

Executive Secretary of the Board scheme, Alhaji Kamilu Aliyu Musa, disclosed this while briefing newsmen on the payment of the retirement and death benefits in his office.

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He said the Board has paid N1.215bn to 550 retirees for the month of July, 2022.

Kamilu explained that, the beneficiaries are categorized into four for the payment of their rights.

According to him “the first category include 411 beneficiaries who have retired from the service and were paid over N920,331 million.

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“The second category of the beneficiaries are those 100 people that have died while in service and their families received the total amount of N267,329 million”

“The third category of 8 beneficiaries are under the death pension balance and will get N27, 952 million as their entitlement

READ ALSO: BREAKING: APC Presidential Primaries: Jigawa Delegate Dies In Abuja

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“While the fourth category of beneficiaries are those who are not in service for up-to five years, the board will refund 8 percent to them amounting to N201,437 thousands as their entitlement.”

The Executive Secretary also reiterated the board’s commitments to pay each retired civil servant his entitlement within one month of his retirement.

He then commended Governor Muhammad Badaru Abubukar for his support to the Board and releasing the Pensioners entitlement in a right time.

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INEC Reacts As Hoodlums Burn Razed Its Enugu Office

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The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has confirmed that hoodlums burnt down its office at Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

The incident occurred on Sunday night when the arsonists stormed the office situated at the council’s headquarters in Ogurute.

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Confirming the incident, the Resident Electoral Commissioner in the state, Mr. Emeka Ononamadu, in a statement on Monday, said the arsonists overpowered the security guards, forced their way into the premises, and set the building ablaze.

He said although no casualties were reported, 748 ballot boxes, 240 voting cubicles, office furniture, and equipment were destroyed in spite of the effort of the Enugu State Fire Service deployed from Nsukka.

READ ALSO: JUST IN: Hoodlums Set INEC Office Ablaze In Enugu

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Ononamadu added that the Commission is working to ascertain the status of voter registration machines for the ongoing Continuous Voter Registration (CVR) exercise as well as uncollected Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) locked up in the fireproof cabinet.

”The incident has been reported to the Nigeria Police for investigation and further action.

”The attack, coming in the middle of the voter registration exercise and other preparations for the 2023 General Election, is worrisome. It will be recalled that on 23rd May 2021, our office in the neighbouring Igboeze South Local Government Area was attacked in a similar manner by unknown gunmen.

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”This followed earlier attacks on the Udenu Local Government Area office on 13th May 2021 and the State Headquarters in Enugu on 16th May 2021.

”The Commission has since substantially recovered from these attacks and resumed normal activities there, including the VR and collection of
PVCs.

READ ALSO: 2023 Elections: INEC Speaks On Voters Registration In Niger Republic

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”The Commission will continue to work with the security agencies and the emergency services to protect our facilities,” the statement added.

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Niger Attack: Death Toll Of Security Operatives Rises To 48

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The number of security personnel killed in Niger State by suspected bandits has increased following the discovery of more bodies in the bush.

Sani Kokki, the convener of Concerned Shiroro Youths of Niger State, explained that more bodies of the security operatives were discovered in the bush by the locals.

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According to Sani Kokki, “On Saturday evening, the dead body of a mobile policeman was also discovered by a passerby.”

READ ALSO: Pastor Adeboye Clarifies Reports Alleging He Asked Christians To Buy Guns

Recall that a number of soldiers, policemen and civilians were killed after bandits attacked a mining site on Wednesday in Niger State.

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He explained that the death toll of the security personnel killed by the bandits had risen to 48.

He alleged that the bandits killed 34 soldiers, eight mobile policemen and six civilians.

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